Deuteronomy

In the days of Moses, the LORD promised the people a prophet, an Israelite.  The people were admonished to listen to the prophet God sent.  Moses wrote:

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.  This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’  The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well.  I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.  It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.  But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’”  Deuteronomy 18: 15 – 20

The remainder of the Old Testament Scriptures bear witness to God’s general fulfillment of the promise to send a prophet.  Just consider the prophets who have a book of the Bible named after them:  Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.  And then there are Elijah and Elisha, and many other prophets, who were sent but did not write a book that made it into the Bible.

The prophecy from Moses, however, has a more specific fulfillment in the Messiah.  In addition to all the prophets in the Old Testament, who in general fulfill God’s promise to speak through men, the Messiah is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s oath to raise up an Israelite in the manner of Moses.

Since the New Testament teaches that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, we can also say that the New Testament teaches that Jesus is the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15.  Peter referenced the Deuteronomy prophecy in a message he preached to his countrymen after he had healed a lame beggar in the name of Christ:

And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also.  But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.  Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.  Moses said, ‘The LORD God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you.  And it will be that every soul that does not need that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’  And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days.  It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’  For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.  Acts 3: 17 – 26

And Stephen, right before his execution for preaching Jesus, told the people of God’s promise to Moses to raise up a prophet, as he recounted the history of Israel for the people and tried to show how Jesus was part of it.

This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.’  Acts 7: 37

So the New Testament teaches that Jesus is the promised prophet; the one that God told the Israelites to listen to.  At the transfiguration of Christ, when Jesus was standing with the two great prophets of God, Moses and Elijah, the Father said this about the Son:

“This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”  Mark 9: 7

And the Scripture says that after the voice spoke, Moses and Elijah were gone.

All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone.  Mark 9: 8

Jesus is greater than Moses and Elijah; He stands alone.  He is the beloved Son and the promised prophet of God.

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